DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The permits and other pertinent documents of the Center for Lumad Advocacy Networking and Services were in order and that there was no reason that its schools would shut down.
This was the assertion made by officials of CLANS as it reported of an incident on August 9 when the CLANS school in Sitio Lagandang, Barangay Kisek in Palimbang town in Sultan Kudarat was threatened to be closed by Department of Education officials in the area.
The CLANS identified DepEd Palimbang District Supervisor Pudja Acob and Dioni Fred Oret, the school Principal of Dionisio Cagadok Siur Memorial Elementary School in the area of having told teachers and students to stop operating the school.
The two DepEd officials reportedly disregarded the papers and documents presented to them by CLANS Teacher-in-Charge Shellymar Baraw, the group added.
CLANS criticized Acob and Oret for allegedly spreading rumors that the documents of CLANS schools were fake. “Our documents are in order and will prove that there is no reason for our school to close down,” said Thimoty Romero, the spokesperson of CLANS.
The group said the “attacks on schools intensified when Martial Law was imposed in Mindanao last May 2017. In Region 12 alone, 38 schools are reported to be forcibly closed this year. Aside from closure due to holding off permits, teachers are threatened and are falsely charged with trumped-up cases and illegally arrested that will eventually lead to forced closure of the school.”
In the same statement, Geming Alonzo, the executive director of CLANS reported that last July this year, Lumad school teachers, parents, and students conducted a Lumad Kampuhan at the office of DepEd in Region 12.
The Kampuhan was aimed to refute the repeated claims of DepEd that CLANS schools have not complied with requirements and its refusal to give the permit to operate CLANS schools.
“DepEd’s delay of the release of the permits results to continuous harassment to teachers, students, and Lumad communities by elements of the military. Save Our Schools Network reported that there are 225 cases of attacks on schools within the region affecting 4,578 students, 189 teachers, 202 PTCA members, and 64 schools including DepEd schools in Sultan Kudarat and North Cotabato.” Alonzo further stated.(davaotoday.com)